Through the Russian Prism: Essays on Literature and Culture

Overview

Joseph Frank's continuing biography of Dostoevsky is by now recognized as one of the major achievements of this century in this form, and perhaps the best work on the author in any language. During the course of this long-range effort, Frank has also produced articles, introductions, and occasional pieces that arise from his acute awareness of how Western ideas are changed, transformed, and given new meanings and implications when they are reflected through the Russian prism. It is this interaction between Russia...

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Overview

Joseph Frank's continuing biography of Dostoevsky is by now recognized as one of the major achievements of this century in this form, and perhaps the best work on the author in any language. During the course of this long-range effort, Frank has also produced articles, introductions, and occasional pieces that arise from his acute awareness of how Western ideas are changed, transformed, and given new meanings and implications when they are reflected through the Russian prism. It is this interaction between Russia and the West that has fascinated Frank for many years and that provides the focus for these essays. Assembled here are twenty contributions dealing with the culture that generated the great novels of Dostoevsky and the criticism of the Russian formalists of the early twentieth century, whose perceptions still shape our views of Russian and much of world literature. Included are evaluations of books by Jakobson and Bakhtin, as well as of books about the development of Russian formalist criticism and thought. At the center are pieces on Dostoevsky and his milieu, as well as on his influence on world literature. Among them are Frank's New Criterion piece on Ralph Ellison's debt to Dostoevsky and a critical examination of the world-famous article by Freud on the Russian master. Gathered together, these essays reveal one of the powerful critical intelligences of our time, considering issues that arise from his study of Dostoevsky but which extend well beyond the time and place of that novelist alone.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Articles, introductions, and occasional pieces on themes related to Dostoevsky specifically or generally to the interaction between Russia and the West. Many of the pieces contained herein are tangential to Frank's comparative literature, Princeton U. and Stanford U. major opus, his continuing biography of Dostoevsky. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691014562
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1989
  • Pages: 251
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Part 1 Contemporaries
Chapter 1 Roman Jakobson: The Master Linguist 3
Chapter 2 The Voices of Mikhail Bakhtin 18
Chapter 3 Ralph Ellison and Dostoevsky 34
Chapter 4 The Lectures of Professor Pnin 49
Part 2 Overviews
Chapter 5 Russian Thought: The Road to Revolution 57
Chapter 6 The Search for a Positive Hero 75
Chapter 7 Russian Populism 83
Chapter 8 From Gogol to the Gulag 89
Part 3 Dostoevsky
Chapter 9 Freud's Case History of Dostoevsky 109
Chapter 10 The Background of Crime and Punishment 122
Chapter 11 The Devils and the Nechaev Affair 137
Chapter 12 Approaches to the Diary of a Writer 153
Chapter 13 Dostoevsky: Updated and Historical 170
Chapter 14 Dostoevsky and the European Romantics 179
Part 4 The Dilemmas of Radicalism
Chapter 15 Nikolay Chernyshevsky: A Russian Utopia 187
Chapter 16 Sons against Fathers 201
Chapter 17 Deadly Idealist: Mikhail Bakunin 209
Chapter 18 Alexander Herzen: Who Is to Blame? 213
Chapter 19 The Birth of "Russian Socialism" 219
Chapter 20 A Word on Leskov 225
Index 229
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